5 Habits Leaders Should Break

By Brandon Stanley

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

Leadership is a coveted role by many, but there are certain bad habits of a person that determine if someone is can be a good leader.

While people work for years on developing strong leadership traits, all of that means nothing if they cannot eradicate bad habits.

To become an effective leader, break these five habits:

1. Ignoring Others

You lack a connection with most colleagues simply because you ignore their emotional concerns or disregard them completely.

This could look like checking emails while a team member is talking, or never offering feedback to others’ ideas when prompted.

This demonstrates blatant disrespect, but it also creates a dynamic where others feel resistant to work with you.

How to break this habit? Consider the thought process of other people and actively listen to those around you about work. Find out their emotional concerns regarding the atmosphere you provide and respect their time and effort when they show initiative.

2. Indecisive When Taking Action

Making decisions with frequent hesitation is definitely a sign of poor leadership.

While it’s fine to take some time to reflect before finalizing major decisions, your actions still require a certain level of confidence. Indecisiveness often comes with excuses, backpedaling, or avoiding commitment altogether.

Others are likely to sense your recurrent doubt and eventually begin to question your authority as a leader.

After all, if you don’t have assurance in yourself, how will other people look up to you?

Break this habit by putting trust in yourself and your instincts. The best leaders find courage even in the smallest risks. Start by envisioning each decision with a positive outcome for mental strength and reassurance.

3. Micro-managing

When you are managing a set of employees or team members that are working on a project, it can be easy to misconstrue leadership for control.

Yes, it’s important to be involved in the work, and your supervision is needed. But those who micro-manage cause many unfortunate consequences.

Since you’ll be zeroing in on every detail of others’ duties, their creativity and accountability will be crushed. As a leader, you will ultimately be left with workers who no longer have a sense of purpose – if they even choose to stay.

Stop micromanaging by prioritizing what really matters, and explain your expectations to others up front. Then allow people to execute your vision in their own creative way.

Great leadership is all about communication and delegation.

4. Having Too Much Ego

It’s not all about you. That may be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s true. You won’t always be the smartest person in the room, you will make bad decisions, and there’s inevitably someone else in the office who does a part of your job better than you.

However, you still might be prone to becoming defensive when faced with criticism, along with inflated pride over your job title.

This sense of entitlement will shine through your everyday thoughts and actions, so it’s best to keep it in check as much as possible.

Stop your egotistical thoughts as soon as you notice them, then immediately shift your perspective. Set goals for yourself to notice the positive attributes of other people.

Give recognition to those who perform well, and take an opportunity to learn from colleagues who have more expertise in a job skill you desire.

5. Blaming Others

Poor leaders are quick to pass the blame whenever they get the chance. As a byproduct, they give a lot of excuses. Of course, no one wants to believe they’ve failed.

If you notice yourself in the habit of blaming others, end it quickly.

“Leaders who never accept blame should be condemned for more than their lack of responsibility,” says career expert Alison Manney. “They also perpetuate a victim status. At no time would a good leader like to be viewed as a victim.”

It’s important for you to stand accountable when key decisions fall directly on your shoulders, so step up to the plate and take the blame when your fabulous idea doesn’t work out in the end.

Accept responsibility, learn from your mistakes, and move on. People look up to leaders with integrity.

Key Takeaways

Everyone can recognize great leadership when they see it, and bad leadership is just as obvious. These negative qualities include ignoring others, lacking decisiveness, micro-managing, having too much ego, and blaming others.

While this list is by no means extensive to poor leadership characteristics, it is surely the most unfavorable habit a person could have when leading a team of people.

As long as you have awareness about these traits within yourself, there’s no reason why you cannot eradicate them altogether and become the commendable you have always wanted to be.

What Habits Do You Think Leaders Should Break?

If you have ideas about bad habits that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Brandon Stanley
Brandon Stanley
Brandon Stanley is a professional independent journalist. He is also interested in writing articles concerning self-growth and leadership. Apart from that, Brandon loves traveling and playing the piano.
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